📅 April 16, 2015
Linux kernel reached version 4.0.0 a few days ago. Updates are rather minor given the major release number that a “4” would otherwise imply, but I have used it for myself on different systems with Xubuntu 14.04 and Linux Mint 17.1, and kernel 4.0.0 runs as smoothly as watching a penguin slide on ice during a nature program.
Installation and Uninstallation
To install, download three files from http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.0-vivid/. Several files are listed for different systems, but you only need three of them for the system you use. Unless you need specialized ARM or low latency kernels for time-sensitive projects, such as digital audio processing, I recommend the generic kernel for desktop systems. Take note that you must download the 32-bit versions (i386) for 32-bit Linux installations and the 64-bit versions (amd64) for 64-bit Linux installations.
For example, a 64-bit Linux installation needs these three files:
linux-headers-4.0.0-040000-generic_4.0.0-040000.201504121935_amd64.deb linux-headers-4.0.0-040000_4.0.0-040000.201504121935_all.deb linux-image-4.0.0-040000-generic_4.0.0-040000.201504121935_amd64.deb
Once downloaded, place all three files in their own directory. In a terminal, cd to that directory and use dpkg to install them at once:
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
Reboot your system after the Linux kernel installation completes, and then enter uname -a in a terminal to check if the new kernel is alive and active.
You should see something similar to,
4.0.0-040000-generic #201504121935 SMP Sun Apr 12 23:36:33 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
on a 64-bit Linux installation. If not, double check that you downloaded and installed the correct kernel files.
To uninstall, go to Synaptic Package Manager, search for 4.0.0, and mark all three kernel files for complete removal. Reboot. Your system should revert to the last recent kernel.
Does Kernel 4.0.0 Work?
Yes, it does, and it runs well. I have encountered no issues whatsoever, and kernel 4.0.0 performs as reliably as most other kernels I have installed over the years.
“Does kernel 4.0.0 introduce any grand changes?”
Not that I can tell, and from reading the release notes, this appears to be more of a minor update than a major one.
“Must I upgrade to kernel 4.0.0?”
In my opinion, no. There are a few updates, but nothing that qualifies as must-have or critical. Install this mainly if you enjoy experimenting with new kernels or if you enjoy running the latest and greatest kernel just to ascertain than you have all known fixes and updates at the time of release. If you are using a kernel over a year old, then I would recommend 4.0.0 over the latest 3.18.x, but if you are satisfied with the latest 3.18.x, then keep what you have.
As for myself, I am pleased with kernel 4.0.0 in the few days that I have been using it. So far, kernel 4.0.0 has endured CPU stress tests, hard drive I/O, benchmarks, and video editing along with everyday usage and Linux abuse, so I look forward to what the future holds. While kernel 4.0.0 might not offer an impressive array of upgrades, it is off to a good start.